Kym’s Girl, the 2001 New Zealand Cup-winning mare, had to be put down last week, aged 24.
The daughter of Man Around Town had been retired from breeding for six seasons but was in good health until recently.
She suddenly lost condition over the past few weeks and the humane decision was made by co-owner and trainer David Miller.
Miller trained Kim’s Girl for her first 13 wins, the last of which was the G1 NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes over Under Cover Lover, while later regular driver Colin DeFilippi took over the training and won five more races, including the Cup.
DeFilippi also won a second Breeders Stakes and the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown over Holmes D G and Yulestar.
Kym’s Girl won over $600,000 for Miller along with Graeme Trist and Bill Marra, while Chris Thornley was involved for 10 wins and was then bought out by his partners.
She was a real rags-to-riches story for those involved and came close to not going anywhere at all.
Kym’s Girl was bred by Kathy Hely, a sister to Geoff Tate, who stood Man Around Town at stud at the time and she came from his first crop of 12 foals.
She was the last of four foals from Ribbonwood Spangle and she was one of six unraced foals from Espagna, so Kym’s Girl didn’t have much of a pedigree at all.
As a yearling she was bought for $200 by David and wife Kym Neame and she was broken in by Miller, a pig farmer at Motukarara who had learned the ropes helping out Thornley.
“It came to pass that Miller wasn’t being paid and he was thinking about getting rid of Kym’s Girl,” recalled Trist.
“But she was some showing promise so we sort of pitched in to help out with costs, with Chris doing the shoeing and Bill and myself supplying the feed, and later we formed a syndicate to lease her.”
Kym’s Girl won her debut at Washdyke as a three-year-old and another race that season at Addington, although she wasn’t getting anywhere in a hurry.
“She wasn’t seeing her races out that well, but given the high speed she possessed, we suggested to David (Miller) that she be put on the fence and driven for one run at them.
“She won her next three races and that became her forte.”
Kym’s Girl won the Cup in a blanket finish over Homin Hosed, Yulestar and Holmes D G after being four back in the three-wide line down the back and at least seven-wide on the home turn.
She was second in the New Zealand Free For All to Young Rufus that week and then contested the Miracle Mile, finishing fifth, but then won the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown.
Kym’s Girl produced seven foals and six of them raced, but only three were winners and only the Mach Three filly Here We Go Again amounted to anything.
She won 11 races and $198,000, taking out the G2 Ladyship Stakes in Auckland over Twist And Twirl and O Baby paying $48 in the hands of then junior driver Tim Williams.
With Miller having given up on breeding, Trist is going 50/50 with trainer Jamie Gameson on the foals from Here We Go Again and she has produced a yearling filly by Sportswriter and a filly this season by Sweet Lou, while being back in foal to the latter.
“Early on Kym’s Girl would get in foal, but she kept slipping, so we sent her up north to Massey where she almost died for some reason,” said Trist.
“It wasn’t until we gave her to Neville Benny to look after that things improved and he got six foals in seven years from her.
“Her first foal in the In The Pocket filly La Moocha was also very smart and had the same high speed, but she wouldn’t try an inch.
“She won her first race and later she went terrific in her first race on the grass at Motukarara.
“But you could only fool her once and not twice and she only raced five times.”
La Moocha has produced a useful sort in Semper Fidelis (Aus1.55.5, $50,000) and a very promising two-year-old colt by Big Jim in Manjimup, who is with Steve Harding at West Melton.
That looks set to be the next chapter in the story of Kym’s Girl, who really did come from nowhere.